Obesity and Health among Mexicans Aged 50 Years and Older: The Role of Childhood Conditions

Rania Tfaily, University of Pennsylvania

The health dynamics of the older population in Mexico are fused by an unusual interaction between chronic conditions and infectious disease (Palloni et al. 2002). Recent studies show that adverse childhood conditions have long-term consequences for the risk of obesity and related co-morbid chronic conditions in later life. In this paper, we use two waves (2001 and 2003) from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) to: one, validate measured leg length as a reliable proxy for adverse childhood circumstances in the context of a developing country; two, examine the relationship between various measures of childhood conditions, parental background, and own education and assets and the risk of obesity in later life; and, three, assess the impact of obesity on selected health measures of function.

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Presented in Session 76: Legacies of the Past: Early Childhood Conditions and Adult Outcomes